Sweet tea, Cinnabon and 'Bride of Frankenstein'

Monday, March 13, 2006

Panera seems to be thriving in its new spot on William Street, within a stone's throw of its old spot at Westfield West Park. (A stone's throw if you're Roger Clemens.)

But a new tenant has been lined up to take up residence at its old spot, one that will bring its own brand of sweet tea, Cinnabons and Carvel's Ice Cream. McAlister's Select, a smaller version of the existing McAlister's Deli, will open at the Westfield about June 1, according to Josh Swindle, a manager at the existing deli.

McAlister's Select, which had already been selling its sweet tea from a kiosk at the mall, will feature 10 to 12 items from its main menu, including its top-selling sandwiches, salads, spuds and that "famous sweet tea," Swindle said. They've also recently been approved to include a Cinnabon (known for its cinnamon rolls) and Carvel's Ice Cream.

"We don't know if it will all be there when we open, but that's our plan," Swindle said.

Swindle said it's a good thing for both McAlister's and the mall.

"It seems like every food vendor is going out, so we figured it would be a good opportunity," he said.

* Don't ... stop ... believin': Speaking of the mall, the Journey's -- the "funky, hip, cool shoes and apparel store," according to its Web site -- reopened Thursday in the Famous-Barr wing after it moved to make way for the construction of Barnes & Noble.

"It's twice the size, twice the service and twice the fun," said new manager Tammy Crowe. (She really said that.)

* Home cookin' in Perryville: Charley's Diner is slated to open at 1407 Grand St. in Perryville, Mo., on March 21 in the spot of the now defunct Perry's Diner.

Owner Charley Brown said the new restaurant will include home-style cooking, including fried chicken, steak, pie and potatoes.

The kitchen manager is Annette Cash. Those of you up north will remember her as the owner/operator of Cashotti's in St. Mary's for several years. Brown said Cash has a reputation as an excellent cook. Nancy Emmendorfer will be the front-room manager. A staff of about 30 will man the restaurant.

The restaurant will have a 1950s and 1960s theme and decor, he said.

* Monster mash: Having trouble finding that rare copy of the original 1931 classic "Frankenstein" with Boris Karloff as The Monster? Or do you want to pick up "The Bride of Frankenstein" for your wife? (Anniversary?)

Those titles can be sometimes hard to find, but not after Tom Keenan opens Monsterland DVD Sales sometime next month. The store will specialize in horror and sci-fi movies, especially those classic movies from the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

At first, the new DVD store will co-exist at the comics shop Marvels and Legends at 1030 Broadway. Initially, he'll have several hundred titles, but he hopes business is good enough for him to eventually get his own space and the number could grow into the thousands.

"I'm a fan," Keenan said. "These are movies that I enjoy. There is a following for this type of movie. Best Buy may stock a couple, but when they run out, they don't restock."

About that comment about getting your wife "The Bride of Frankenstein" for an anniversary gift ... um, I was only kidding. I'd hate to be responsible for someone getting a divorce.

* Boxcar Cafe opened: If you missed it on my blog or in the item that ran the next day in the Southeast Missourian, here's a recap: The Boxcar Cafe opened recently at 116 E. Hickory St., and owners Debby Erlbacher and Barb Lynch have a standing challenge that if anybody can eat their seven-pound burger -- four pounds of beef alone -- then it's free. Otherwise, it will cost you $18.95. Three people have tried so far, and failed.

"Two of them had to stop and throw up in the middle of it," said Erlbacher, who also owns Francine's Flowers in Cape Girardeau. "The other one just quit."

The restaurant also serves a variety of home-cooked meals, including all-you-can-eat catfish and kettle beef on certain days. The restaurant is in the previous location of Maria's, the short-lived Mexican restaurant.

* Rapid Rooter: Floyd Penny, who owned Roto-Rooter for years, recently formed a new business called Rapid Rooter. Penny, who has 25 years' experience in sewer cleaning and repair services, said he will serve a 50-mile radius.

The new company has four technicians who are certified to inspect and install septic tanks, and machines that will open and clean from 4-inch lines to 24-inch lines. The warehouse and office is at 130 Wyandot Lane.

Scott Moyers is the business editor of the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to "Biz Buzz," 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699, or e-mail them to smoyers@semissourian.com or call (573) 335-6611, extension 137.

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